Venues for Civil ceremonies

Once you have chosen a venue, contact the Register Office as soon as possible to make the appropriate arrangements. Customers are advised to make arrangements with the Register Office before making any final bookings with venues.

Becoming an approved venue for marriages and civil partnerships

Becoming an approved venue can be a way of generating income for your business and making your venue available for an event which is one of the most important in someone’s life.

Most buildings can be licensed, although there are restrictions:

  • the building must be a permanent building or structure
  • the building cannot be currently or have previously been used as a place of worship (so a former church or chapel can't be licensed)
  • the building needs to be safe and accessible
  • there are also operation conditions that are attached to the application form [pdf document]

The current fee is £1600 which is payable at the time of application and provides a three year licence for the venue. A licence can't be granted for a 'one-off' occasion. Fees cannot be refunded or changes made to the application once it has been submitted.

Once you are granted a licence your venue will be included in a national list of approved venues and anyone can approach you to hold a ceremony. Your licence will apply to both Marriages and Civil Partnerships.

The licensing process normally takes six months:

  • when you express an interest a Registrar will visit to assess the suitability of your venue
  • you will then make a formal application and pay your fee (this is non-refundable)
  • the application will then be advertised in the local press to allow for an objections by the public. The fire service, building control, licensing and the register office will visit your venue and raise any concerns.
  • your application will then be taken to the licensing committee. If it is approved, the Superintendent Registrar will grant your licence.

Notices will appear here when they are available

Current Applications for licences for Approved Venues for Civil Ceremonies

Renewal applications [pdf document]